Kuwait continues to press ahead with its social infrastructure development programme.

While the recession has put a halt to much of the large-scale real estate development that became synonymous with the Gulf during the boom years, Kuwait is pushing forward with developing its infrastructure to facilitate its increasing population.

Kuwait’s population has shown a steady growth of 2.5 to 3 per cent in recent years and the emirate is acutely aware of the need to expand and improve its medical and educational facilities to cope with the growing population.

Towards the end of last year, the Public Works Ministry awarded a $1.5bn contract to build the Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah Hospital. The 1,050-bed hospital is one of the largest construction projects in the country.

The Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is also currently tendering a contract to build the new Ahmadi Hospital and surrounding residential buildings.

Kuwait is also putting significant investment into its educational infrastructure. Kuwait University (KU) has witnessed an increase in student and staff numbers of more than 40 per cent over the last five years.

The university is currently tendering the contract to build the College of Engineering & Petroleum (Coep), which is the first tender issued on the $3bn Sabah al-Salem University. Contracts have also been tendered for the faculty of arts and education and other associated facilities.

Kuwait realises that it cannot allow the effects of the global recession to derail its infrastructure development. More people will require more infrastructure. It is important that the emirate continues to invest its large oil resources into improving the country’s infrastructure while it has the opportunity.